Achievement unlocked: THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.
AHHHH WE REACHED OUR FUNDING GOAL IN JUST THREE AND A HALF HOURS. Thank you SO MUCH - because of you, this book is going to happen!! And it's just going to KEEP HAPPENING and KEEP GETTING MORE AMAZING because of how awesome all of you are being.
I just want to keep saying "thank you" - I'm humbled and thrilled and super excited all at once. I call this new emotion, "exrillbled"! I may be renaming it in the future. ANYWAY! You guys are the best ever in time!!
As thanks, I've uploaded an illustration for the book by that came in too late for the video but JUST IN TIME for me to share it with you right now! It's by Chris Hastings.
SPOILER ALERT: THERE ARE G-G-G-GHOSTS IN THIS BOOK.
And hey, since this book is definitely going to be a thing (I said it before but I'm gonna say it again: thank you all SO MUCH), let's start reading it together! This is the pre-edited version of course, so things might change, but at least you'll be able to look back on this in a few months and say "Huh, he caught that misplaced comma after all. Sweeeet."
EVERYONE VOTE ON WHAT YOU WANT THE NEXT CHOICE TO BE IN THE COMMENTS, AND I'LL POST A NEW PAGE EVERY $5K:
William Shakespeare (1564 AD - whenever he died) was well known for borrowing from existing literature when writing his plays. Romeo and Juliet is pretty much lifted entirely from Arthur Brooke's poem "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet": dude didn't even change the names. And, as recent Shakespeare scholarship has recently established, the famed play "William Shakespeare Presents: Hamlet!" was lifted wholesale from the volume you are about to enjoy, "To Be Or Not To Be".
"To Be Or Not To Be" is both the earliest recorded example of the "books as game" genre, as well as the first instance ever in the then-newish English language that was kicking around of an adventure being chosen by YOU, the reader.
We've taken the liberty of marking with tiny Yorick skulls the choices Shakespeare himself made when he plagiarized this book back in olden times. They’re there in case you wish you put yourself in Shakespeare's shoes, reading this book as he did, stealing plot elements wholesale and classing up the language as he/you went/go. However, this is not the only way to read this book! Feel free to explore your other options, as each time you read this book you can go on a different adventure, assuming you don't read the book 53,000,000 times, at which point the adventures will start to repeat and they'll probably seem pretty familiar long before that anyway.
Now, take yourself back to History, when ghosts walked the Earth and nobody knew dinosaurs were ever even a thing. Steel yourself to experience the magic of Shakespeare as it was meant to be experienced: in a non-deterministic narrative structure where you end up thinking maybe you made a wrong decision so you mark the pages you were just on so you can go back and make a different choice if you die for some dumb reason.
To be, or not to be: that is the adventure.
Noted Shakespeare Scholar / Enthusiast
CHOICE ONE: Choose your character!
CHOICE TWO: Man, what if I just read the acknowledgements instead